Sat, 20 Jul 2019

New Delhi [India], July 11 (ANI): Indian football Sunil Chhetri on Thursday said he draws inspiration from the six-time boxing world champion MC Mary Kom.

Chhetri, who has 70 international goals under his belt, said the veteran boxer and mother of two Mary has inspired the nation. He also called himself the Olympic bronze medallist Mary's biggest fan.

"She (Mary) is an unbelievable story. She is a 6-time World champion, and have been a World Champion after giving birth to twins, and even after being a mother of three," Chhetri said in an interview with All India Football Federation (AIFF).

"Besides, she has 14 Gold medals in all, including the Asian Games, the Asian Championships, the CWG Games, and others. If she doesn't inspire India, who else will. I am her biggest fan," he added.

When asked what he has learned from the boxer, Chhetri said Mary's "never say die attitude". The footballer further said Mary has him that nothing is too late and everything is possible.

"Her never say die attitude. Nothing is too late, everything is possible. There are phases in life which surface at times, and it makes you understand that despite you working hard, everything what you are doing is probably not enough," Chhetri said.

"That's when you need to look around, and beyond. You need to look at what other people are doing. A prime example stays Mary Kom. That's when the understanding creeps up -- that you need to push yourself more," he added.

When asked if there is any athlete from the field of football that inspires him, Chhetri named Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi with a smile. He said whenever he is stressed, he thinks about the two legends and everything falls into place for him.

"There are two gentlemen named Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi (smiles again). In the last 10-11 years they have completely dominated the world of football. If they don't score in 2-3 matches, people start speaking that 'they are out of form.' Whenever I am stressed or tired, I always think about these guys. And it falls into place for me," he said.

AIFF Men's Player of the Year 2018-19 Chhetri said the award helps him to stay motivated and reminds him of his responsibility towards the Indian football.

When asked about bagging the award for a record sixth time, he said he never got time to sit and think about his achievements. Chhetri, however, added that he would like to reflect on it after his retirement.

"The Award is the added motivation to do better, and it reminds me of my responsibility. Honestly, I have never got a time, or ever have I sat back and thought of what, and how much have I achieved. I am just happy that I am playing for my country, and that I am training. I am enjoying it. I never think about 100 games, or whatever number of goals, 6 AIFF Best Player awards. That I have kept aside to speak about over a drink when I retire," he said.

"From someone who never dreamt of playing for the country, or never even thought of making it professional - now holding almost all the records the country has - is unbelievable," he added. (ANI)

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